New flood insurance rules too big a risk | Sept. 8 column, John Romano
Waterfront comes at a price
I read with interest John Romano's outraged consumer advocacy piece opposing spreading the risk of insurance to those who have the most likelihood of damage.
It's like the middle-income driver who barely could afford a Porsche, Maserati or Lambor-ghini who now realizes: "Holy smoke, I have to insure and maintain this thing." Now he whines for a tax subsidy for his cost of repairs. Or like the person who buys the dream home ("they've wanted since the 1970s") on the water and wants the government (i.e. taxpayers who fund the government) to pay for his insurance. Oh, wait — that last bit, that's exactly what's happening.
I don't live on the water. I can't justify the expense, the maintenance or the risk. I'm real sorry about your dream from the 1970s that is now a costly nightmare. However, if you can afford the whole enchilada (i.e. the home and the insurance), don't ask me to pick up your tab through my government and subsidize your waterfront lifestyle. Sell and move inland!
J. Steele Olmstead, Tampa
Rates reflect risks | Sept. 9, letter to editor
In response to the letter writer saying sky-high flood insurance is acceptable: What about those, including me, who purchased a home high and dry, no flooding ever and nothing to indicate otherwise, who had FEMA come through and reclassify the property into a dangerous flood zone?
My home sits 38 feet above sea level and I had the elevation certified. I wrote to FEMA and pleaded my case, and also wrote to U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson for help, but my house is 11 inches too low, according to the new parameters.
Like Citizens Property Insurance, there was no warning, no letter to help you understand this. Just a letter from the mortgage company saying you'd better pay or lose your home to us.
Florida is circling the drain, and I'm caught up in it.
Daniel Orsello, Tampa
Shootout caps wave of assaults | Sept. 7
Tampa Bay's finest
I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and the Tampa Police Department for their handling of the tragic incidents north of campus on Sept. 5 and 6. True to the excellent reputation of these two law enforcement agencies, these traumatic attacks committed by an individual from another county were handled with precision and professionalism.
The Tampa Bay area is extremely fortunate to have law enforcement agencies with such a high degree of training and expertise. We are even more fortunate to have leaders such as Sheriff David Gee and Chief Jane Castor to ensure that our safety system functions to the highest standards.
The entire USF community appreciates the hard work of all the men and women of law enforcement as we seek to make our community a better and safer place in which to learn and live.
Judy Genshaft, president, University of South Florida
Public paid for squalor | Sept. 8
The real moochers
I have often heard Republicans bemoan what they call the "moocher class," the poor, homeless, unemployed and underemployed. More than 25 percent of Floridians fall in this category. They resent their tax dollars paying for government programs that help the poor. The fact is that financial assistance given to the poor is simply passed through the poor to the very people who object to their tax dollars being used to assist the poor.
The most recent example is the Hillsborough Homeless Recovery Agency program that receives taxpayer funding to provide housing for the poor. The agency paid former Republican Party official William "Hoe" Brown $600,000 to provide squalid housing to the poor. The homeless and the taxpayers got ripped off. Once again the poor served their function as a conduit for public money to the wealthy.
Lynn W. Lindeman, Hudson
'Winter's just like me' | Sept. 1
Hospital or holding tank?
The article on Clearwater Marine Aquarium and the English lad should be a wakeup call for the aquarium and Clearwater. People come to CMA not for entertainment but because they have been told through Winter and publicity that CMA is a marine hospital. They come to see the dolphins, turtles, sharks, stingrays, etc. that have been saved. They come to support that effort. They come to see if it is really possible to overcome unbelievable injuries.
What they don't come for is to see another multimillion-dollar aquarium that holds animals in captivity to make a profit.
Carol Ann Logan, Clearwater
TIA boss gets raise to $330,750 a year | Sept. 6
Would the flying public have voted for $65,000 in raises and a $500,000 five-year bonus for Tampa airport director Joe Lopano? Based on how we are treated curbside, I think not. So why is the airport authority so enamored of this person and deep-pocketed enough to lavish so much money on him? Lopano is probably doing a great job in most respects, but I think the real question may be why the airport isn't reducing ticket surcharges or landing fees. Instead the public is footing the bill for extravagant raises when most in the private sector aren't even seeing cost-of-living increases.
Bill Place, Tampa
Cancer care raises concern | Sept. 9
Think, act before illness
Families should not postpone "the discussion" until a serious diagnosis. As a retired long-term-care chaplain, I advise everyone to think through their preferences, discuss them with other concerned individuals and put them in writing. The "Five Wishes" document is available through Aging With Dignity and provides an excellent vehicle for discussion and decisions.
Martha Lamar, St. Petersburg
Florida's voter fraud phantom Sept. 8 editorial
Show evidence first
Shouldn't policies be fact based? Should we establish a "Bigfoot eradication program" just because a few politicians believe the beast exists?
Rick Scott and the Legislature should be required to show evidence of voter fraud before implementing measures to prevent it, laws that suppress the vote more than prevent nonexistent voter fraud.
Jesse Glover, Tampa